Trump praises Chinese efforts on North Korea 'menace,' Pyongyang warns of strike

North Korea issues a warning as U.S. starts drills with the South Trump praises Chinese efforts on North Korea 'mena...X By Steve Holland and Phil Stewart | WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump praised Chinese efforts to rein in "the menace of North Korea" on Thursday, after North Korean state media warned the United States of a "super-mighty preemptive strike." Trump told a news conference "some very unusual moves have been made over the last two or three hours," and that he was confident Chinese President Xi Jinping would "try very hard" to pressure Beijing's ally and neighbor North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs. While Trump gave no indication of what the moves might be, U.S. officials told Reuters that the United States was aware of a higher-than- usual level of activity by Chinese bombers,
signaling a possible heightened state of readiness. The officials played down concerns and left open a range of possible reasons. MORE FROM REUTERS: * COMMENTARY: The next super weapon could be biological reut.rs/2oVooHc * COMMENTARY: The worrying lessons of the Syria chemical attack reut.rs/2o6r55r Those possibilities included defensive exercises or Chinese concerns over North Korea. None of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, suggested alarm or signaled that they knew the precise reason for such Chinese activity. U.S. officials have been saying for weeks that North Korea could soon stage another nuclear bomb test, something both the United States and China have both warned against. Trump has taken a hard line with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has proceeded with nuclear and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions. The United States and South Korea are technically still at war with North Korea because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

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